Gray’s Bush Scenic Reserve – Gisborne, NZ

Gray's Bush Scenic ReserveOne of the more popular things to do in New Zealand is to take to the trails and enjoy a leisurely walk. There are more than a few tramping trails available for use throughout Gisborne, but one of the loveliest and easiest to access is the Gray’s Bush Scenic Reserve. It’s estimated that between 10,000 and 12,000 people visit this scenic reserve each year. Access is free and open to the public.

There are two main trails which loop around through the reserve and connect to one another. A leisurely walk would take you approximately one hour to complete. The trails are also wheelchair accessible.

Native Bush and Wildlife

The Gray’s Bush Scenic Reserve is a remnant of the podocarp forest which used to cover the Gisborne plains. Within the small 12 hectacres of bush, you’ll find some 400 to 500 year old native kahikatea trees. Some of these trees tower overhead about 40 metres! The growth at the floor is quite dense, and includes various ferns, herbs, shrubs and grasses. The surrounding lands outside the reserve have been cleared for farming and agriculture; primarily vineyards citrus orchards and grain crops. A variety of fascinating birds and animals make their home within the reserve.

A Little History About the Reserve

What is now known as the Gray’s Bush Scenic Reserve, once belonged to Mr. Charles Gray. Mr. Gray purchased the land in 1877 and it was part of his farm. Eight years after Mr. Gray’s death in 1926, the land was offered as a reserve (Gray’s Bush Domain) to the Crown by the Gray’s Estate trustees. The reserve is currently under management by the Department of Conservation.

For more information about the reserve, including directions on how to get there, visit the official Department of Conservation website.

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